A South Carolina woman succumbed to her injuries after being impaled by a runaway beach umbrella.
Tammy Perreault, 63, was sitting at a local beach when the rogue umbrella flew into the air and then punctured her upper torso.
A number of good Samaritans and off-duty medical professionals provided initial care to the victim on the beach, Horry County Public Information Officer Thomas Bell said in a statement.
Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard confirmed that Perreaults cause of death was chest trauma.
It’s not the first time David Traini, Garden City Pier DJ, said he’s seen or heard about an umbrella flying out of the sand.
“Looking at the beach, you can see all of the umbrellas behind me, and many many times during the week we see umbrellas just kind of lift out of the sand and go flying. I’ve seen some close calls where it almost hits somebody, or you know they just stick to the ground and keep flipping,” he said.
A beachgoer was killed Wednesday at Garden City Beach in South Carolina, after a loose beach umbrella impaled her in the chest, according to Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard.
Horry County public information officer Thomas Bell said that the umbrella was blown by the wind around 12:40 p.m. and went “airborne” and struck Perreault, who was sitting on the beach.
Perreault died from chest trauma at the hospital about an hour later.
Beach umbrellas have a spiked end to help them lodge into the sand but their wide canopy allows them to get caught up in a strong wind if they are not anchored properly, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
The federal agency estimates about 3,000 people are injured by beach umbrellas every year.
A 67-year-old woman from London was speared in the ankle in 2018 while visiting Seaside Heights, New Jersey.
As recently as July 27, Andrew Newens, of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Directorate for Engineering Sciences, participated in a teleconference with the ASTM F15.79 Beach Umbrellas Task Group to discuss the creation of a new standard test method for the strength and durability of consumer beach umbrellas.